Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
Despite the ideological diversity that exists across fascist movements of recent history, one characteristic has come to be seen as endemic: the glorification of a national past and/or lost national character. In the case of Benito Mussolini's Fascist regime, the Italian nation-building
project required the resurrection of a much older past - namely, Italy's Ancient Roman heritage. This recourse to antiquity appeared in the regime's public communications, literature, and propagandist media. However, in this paper I argue that this turn toward the ancient was not
indicative of an anti-modern stance. Rather, the regime's classicist language coexisted with broader modernization projects. Narratives around time served different functions in different domains both material and immaterial. This paper moves beyond an analysis of fascist political rhetoric to consider the spatial projects mobilized under Fascist rule, specifically in the areas of modernist architecture and urban planning.